Geothermal heat pumps are energy efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective. They are a great option for homeowners who want to reduce their home’s carbon footprint and increase its comfort level. If you’re considering using one, be sure that the system is installed correctly and run properly before you call it quits on your old heating and cooling system. Here are five common geothermal heat pump problems and how to fix them.
Geothermal heat pump systems have an average lifespan of about 15 years – but you can extend this by monitoring the heat pump regularly for proper operation. The most important thing to do before calling it quits is check the system for leaks. You can use a flashlight or a bright light bulb in order to see if there are any cracks or holes where air might leak into the system. Also look at the seals around doors and windows to make sure they are intact.
If you find any leaks, you’ll need to correct the problem immediately. Repairing water leaks will require you to remove the drain pan (which holds the water that is pumped through the system) from inside the unit. To repair air leaks, you can seal up holes with duct tape or caulk. Be careful not to damage the seal when repairing the air leaks. Air leakage can cause mold to grow within the insulation, which could compromise the safety of your family.
- Poor installation
A poorly installed system will not run efficiently and may not provide enough hot water to keep your household comfortable during cold weather months. When hiring a contractor to install the system, ensure all connections are tight and secure. Check to make sure that electrical wires are connected securely behind the drywall, and that the system is wired in accordance with local codes.
You should also ask the installer to double-check the wiring for signs of possible electrical problems. For example, if you notice lights flicker, or if the system doesn’t turn on after being connected to electricity, these may indicate a short circuit has occurred. A short circuit can potentially result in a fire.
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Most geothermal heat pump systems operate at temperatures between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. During the summer, the system keeps the house cool as the outside temperature increases, while during the winter, it warms the house as outdoor temperatures drop.
When the system gets too hot or too cold, you can adjust its settings accordingly. If, however, the heat pump becomes uncomfortably warm or too cold, it may be time to replace it. In some cases, a geothermal heat pump may overheat because of poor ventilation. In others, the homeowner failed to allow the system enough time to warm up or cool down.
- Low efficiency
The heat pump won’t work effectively without sufficient airflow. Without adequate airflow, you won’t get the full benefit of the system’s power. You can improve the efficiency of your heat pump by installing a fan in an unoccupied room or by opening windows to circulate fresh air throughout the house.
- Short circuiting
Sometimes the wires of a geothermal heat pump become frayed and short-circuit. This can cause the heat pump to stop working altogether. You’ll know right away if this happens; the system will shut off automatically. The best way to prevent this from happening is to disconnect the system from your AC compressor and plug it directly into the wall outlet, rather than running the wire back to the inverter.
This prevents the wire from getting tangled up or damaged. If you don’t have access to the wall outlet, you can disconnect the system altogether and then reconnect it later. Remember to reconnect the system to the same circuit breaker as the one used when it was disconnected.
- Compressor failure
As the name implies, a compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant into and out of the system. If the compressor fails, the heat pump will no longer function. As a precautionary measure, always keep the compressor free of ice whenever you leave the house.
If the compressor stops working, try restarting it manually. If that doesn’t work, call a licensed professional to come out and inspect the system so that he can determine the source of the problem and recommend a solution.
Common Geothermal Heat Pump Problems
While geothermal heat pumps offer many benefits, they can also experience certain problems that may affect the system’s performance. Here are five common problems that may impact the effectiveness of your geothermal heat pump system.
If you suspect that your system has developed a leak, contact a licensed professional to inspect the interior of the unit. Leaks can develop anywhere, including near pipes, electrical outlets, the walls, or even the floor. Some experts believe that leaks can actually lower the efficiency of your system by allowing moisture to accumulate inside.
Airflow is essential to the proper functioning of a geothermal heat pump. Insufficient airflow can significantly reduce the amount of hot water or cool water delivered to the rooms of the house.
An overheated system can damage your property, resulting in expensive repairs. If your system begins to overheat, call a licensed professional to examine the unit and address any potential issues.
A short circuit occurs when two wires touch each other unexpectedly, causing a brief surge in voltage that temporarily disrupts the flow of current. If you find that your system has experienced a short circuit, it’s important to contact a licensed professional immediately.
If your system experiences a compressor failure, be sure that the unit is turned off and unplugged to avoid further damage. Call a licensed professional to come and inspect the compressor so that he can diagnose the exact nature of the problem.
If you’re ready to install a geothermal heat pump, you may be wondering what’s involved. While it takes some research and effort, the payoff is well worth it. By replacing your outdated HVAC system with a new, more energy-efficient geothermal heat pump, you can cut your monthly utility bills dramatically. And since geothermal heat pumps generate renewable energy, you can rest assured that you’re doing your part to protect our environment.